Relaxed and rested after a birthday trip to Abu Dhabi, Hamptons billionaire Derwood Hodgegrass announced Tuesday that his equally vaunted and maligned Elysium Workshop think tank is in the process of creating the world’s first privately held and publicly accessible (for a price) collection of celebrity DNA.
The Celebrity DNA Archive Project, or CDNAAP, will be a massive and well maintained repository of genetic information from the world’s most interesting and notable people, Hodgegrass said, explaining that his team has already collected and catalogued hundreds of samples from movie stars, politicians, intellectuals, authors, artists, inventors, moguls, and even a few of our most notorious criminals and psychopaths.
“Back in 2013, during a period of deep soul searching, I had a grand vision, and it’s became absolutely crystal clear to me that CDNAAP is the wave of the future,” Hodgegrass said. “You can’t even begin to imagine the usefulness of this project—it’s like going down the rabbit hole and finding thousands of rabbit holes leading to thousands more rabbit holes—the possibilities are endless,” the billionaire continued. “This archive can be used for everything from researching genetic trends among exceptional people, to proving or disproving paternity and/or lineage, to actually cloning history’s most beautiful minds and bodies. With a good quality sample, we might one day be able to give birth to another Napolean, another Alexander the Great, another John F. Kennedy, another Lady Gaga—we could create another Stephen Hawking and possibly stop his illness the second time around.
“CDNAAP will be owned by me and Elysium Workshop, but I intend to make it accessible to anyone who might need the information it contains. I see a future where a politician could get irrefutable proof that his opponent fathered a love child, where we can examine Scarlett Johansson‘s genetics and find the secret sauce that makes her so beautiful, where we grow the ultimate Olympic team using athletes throughout history, where prospective parents could have their very own baby Brad Pitt… I can imagine selling merchandise featuring the genetic code of our favorite actors and artists—all depending on what people can afford, or what we might decide to grant.”
Hodgegrass sent out “collection teams” starting in 2014 and they’ve brought back thousands of samples. Some, he said, were gathered surreptitiously from celebrities’ discarded cups, plastic forks, beer and soda cans, water bottles, cigar and cigarette butts, leftovers at restaurants and hairs from stylists’ hairbrushes. Other samples were taken from sources such as celebrity hair collections and other fan-owned ephemera.
“You’d be surprised what these people willingly give away,” Hodgegrass said, recalling that he got Johansson’s DNA from a snotty tissue she actually auctioned off for charity through eBay in 2008. “At the time, people thought it was crazy that someone paid $5,300 for her snot rag, but I just paid that person $35,000 to extract what proved to be a very viable sample of Scarlett’s DNA, and the buyer got to keep the tissue when we were done.”
Hodgegrass noted that there are many, many examples of famous people giving away their genetic information in this way. “We also expect that some people will give it to us willingly, just to ensure their legacy lives on in the most literal way.”
Though in the relatively early stages, Hodgegrass said only the purest samples have been coded and decoded in the CDNAAP system. “Our scientists are going through heaps of biological information and research materials to authenticate, break down and preserve each beautiful sample,” he said, assuring that nothing in the archive would be questionable or corrupted in any way.
“You won’t believe the names we’ve got already—this stuff goes back hundreds of years, and we’ve really only just begun,” Hodgegrass said.